Chicago Cubs “Set” with Carlos Marmol as Their Closer…Really?

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIDecember 8, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Pitcher Carlos Marmol #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on August 28, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, via Twitter, Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella said that Cubs are “set” with Carlos Marmol as their closer and are “very happy with him.”


I hope this is like when a college coach at a small school says he is staying at the school, but then the next day leaves for a better job. The coach says he is staying at the small school because it is the “right thing to do.”

The right thing to do for the Cubs is to say they are happy with Marmol as their closer and then go out and get someone who is better suited for that role. Marmol belongs as the eighth inning set-up guy.

If there is one thing I have learned about the Jim Hendry era in Chicago, it’s that mental makeup is not a factor in deciding whether or not that person would be a good fit in a particular role.

I wrote about Marmol as a closer last year during the World Baseball Classic. In my opinion, he does not have the mental makeup to handle the closer duties in Chicago.

I thought he reminded me of Armando Benitez then and that thought hasn’t changed now. Benitez threw hard and could strike people out like Marmol.

However, I wouldn’t trust Benitez in a big spot to save my life and I wouldn’t trust Marmol in the ninth inning either. It’s never a good sign when your closer, who is supposed to be calm under pressure starts screaming at himself on the mound and acts like he just drank eight Red Bulls before he got to the mound.

The Cubs would be better served with Marmol as their eighth inning set-up guy and going after a Heath Bell or reacquiring a Kerry Wood to be their closer.

I hope Piniella was doing the “right thing” when he said his team was “set” with Marmol as the closer. If not, the ninth inning is going to be an adventure with Marmol closing the ninth.

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